With less than two months before the first games of the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, the U.S. roster was unveiled today in an event on Twitter. Included on the 23-player list are Reign FC midfielder Allie Long and forward Megan Rapinoe.
The duo will head to a pre-tournament training camp which starts this weekend, meaning that they will not return to Reign FC until after the World Cup ends in July.
This will be Rapinoe’s third World Cup, having previously played in the 2011 and 2015 editions of the tournament. Her selection to the team comes as no surprise, and the only significant question is how quickly she will recover from the calf strain which has kept her from any appearances for Reign FC this season. She has 150 caps and 44 goals for the United States.
“It feels incredible,” Rapinoe said in a Reign FC press release. “You could go to 10 World Cups in a row and every one is going to be the most exciting thing that’s ever happened. They all feel totally different. It doesn’t feel like ‘here we go again,’ at all. It’s a totally different squad. I’m so thrilled to be a part of another one and hopefully bring home some hardware.”
Long’s inclusion on the final roster was more of a surprise, with many commentators leaving her off their predicted lists after she was not called into several national team camps over the last year and she saw minimal playing time when she was on rosters. She will make her World Cup roster debut after becoming a regular during the 2016 Olympics. She currently has 42 appearances for the national team, with six goals scored.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars)
DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit), Allie Long (Reign FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage)
FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC)
The Americans have three friendlies before they depart for France, starting with a game against South Africa in Santa Clarita, California on May 12. The defense of their World Cup title starts on June 11 with a group stage match against Thailand.
Final 23-player rosters for all teams participating in the tournament are due by May 24, although several other teams have also unveiled theirs. Australia (Steph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Lydia Williams), England (Jodie Taylor), Japan (Rumi Utsugi) and Spain (Celia Jiménez Delgado) have not yet officially announced their rosters or training camp plans, but they are all expected to remain with the Reign for at least a few more games.